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12 operational innovations developed by onsite dining programs in response to COVID

Over the past year, the response of the onsite dining community to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic has included a number of operational innovations. Here are some examples.

The past year has been a challenging one for onsite dining programs, to say the least! Schools have had to develop ways to feed remote learners, colleges have had to create programs to get food to quarantined students still on campus, hospitals have had to cope with reduced retail business as visitors have mostly been barred, many businesses have seen most staffers working offsite and not available to patronize the company café and senior dining programs have had to find ways to get meals to residents isolated in their homes.

Meanwhile, dining programs have had to find ways to maximize the safety of their own employees while still providing quality, convenient foodservice to whatever customers remained—all while coping with the financial impact of the reduced business.

In response, programs have come up with a variety of innovations that work within the regulatory, financial and operational restrictions they have to accommodate. Here are a dozen operational additions and adjustments onsite dining programs in various markets made in the past year to meet the challenge of offering quality meal service to customers in a safe and efficient way.

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